BigCommerce Open SaaS or Magento Open Source: Deciding to Stay Competitive Now

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Isaac Herman

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BigCommerce Open SaaS or Magento Open Source: Deciding to Stay Competitive Now

05/02/2021 Categories: Articles

Reading Time: 15 Min TL;DR: There are pros and cons to both open source and SaaS, but the most crucial objective is to decide what works for your business. You need to decide if you want the profound customization freedom that open source allows or the “out-of-the-box” convenience provided by open SaaS.  The Ecommerce Tipping Point Ecommerce has been growing fast for the past few years, but 2020 shot it into the stratosphere.  In 2019, U.S. online sales were up 14.9% from 2018. In 2020, the pandemic forced a multitude of brands, traditional retailers, and distributors to set up eCommerce shops and pivot their business to online retail. This pivot grew holiday spending a whopping 32.2% in 2020. Within this surging eCommerce market, customer experience has become the most significant competitive differentiator. 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for an excellent customer experience. Competitive efforts to create the best possible experience has also pushed customer expectations considerably high.  The issue then becomes if your eCommerce platform has the technology to handle the conveniences customers expect. Support for mobile wallets, personalized product recommendations, chatbot customer service, and more have become the new status quo.  Making customer experience the priority in your business plan means you will need an eCommerce platform that offers flexibility, scalability, and reliability.  You need to decide if you want the profound customization freedom that open source allows or the “out-of-the-box” convenience provided by open SaaS.  The Benefits of Magento Open Source Not long ago, open source platforms were considered the ultimate choice for merchants requiring flexibility. Developers can alter open source code to create nearly limitless customizations if given enough time to do it.  Magento Open Source has no licensing fee, and its core functionalities give you a well-built skeleton from which you can support any eCommerce operation.  Magento Open Source includes eCommerce must-haves like:  Integrated payment, checkout, and shipping Mobile optimized shopping Global selling Catalog management Instant Purchase Site Search Open source software is infinitely expandable since most open source applications are based on popular programming languages. On the contrary, SaaS platforms limit the ability to customize. Many of the larger open source projects also have a large library of available enhancements. Considerations for your Decision Magento Open Source gives you access to a galaxy of possibilities but includes none of the technical know-how to turn the possibility into reality. You’ll need a Magento-savvy developer to implement, configure, and maintain your store.  The “galaxy of possibilities” we mentioned above also doesn’t come free. Extensions and third-party services are subscription-based, so those costs can add up. You’ll need a hosting solution as well.  Magento Open Source is for merchants that have a clear vision of the specific customer experience they want to create. By taking advantage of open source’s infinite flexibility, merchants can provide value in the market through outstanding and unique experiences.  If you are considering this platform, you must be ready to expend time and effort for development. If your company does not have a team dedicated to open source development, working with a partner like Kensium becomes necessary. There is one more huge value that comes from choosing open source. A well-implemented open source platform ensures that your technology will be able to keep up with your business’ evolution over time. In other words, your eCommerce platform will scale with your business. You will be able to meet evolving customer expectations along with the ability to pivot the business if you need to. And as your business expands, you won’t have to replatform or migrate the full tech stack to a different service. Magento’s modular design reduces application complexity and enables you to easily extend or customize core functionality with off-the-shelf extensions or your code so you can bring innovative ideas to market fast. Magento offers more flexibility and scales by web host, not by user, so scaling up won’t cost you in the long run. BigCommerce and the Open SaaS Approach BigCommerce’s most recent work on their SaaS platform is a modular approach to eCommerce called Open SaaS. Open SaaS platforms like BigCommerce give you the flexibility to deliver more complex, growth-driven customer experiences without replatform. You also don’t need to worry about manually installing patches, updates, etc. because BigCommerce does that for you.  With other SaaS solutions, merchants run the risk of being locked into a specific vendor’s software suite or being limited to their out-of-the-box functionality. In an open

customization freedom that open source allows or the “out-of-the-box” convenience provided by open SaaS. 

bc.magento

The Ecommerce Tipping Point

Ecommerce has been growing fast for the past few years, but 2020 shot it into the stratosphere. 

In 2019, U.S. online sales were up 14.9% from 2018. In 2020, the pandemic forced a multitude of brands, traditional retailers, and distributors to set up eCommerce shops and pivot their business to online retail. This pivot grew holiday spending a whopping 32.2% in 2020.

Within this surging eCommerce market, customer experience has become the most significant competitive differentiator. 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for an excellent customer experience. Competitive efforts to create the best possible experience has also pushed customer expectations considerably high. 

The issue then becomes if your eCommerce platform has the technology to handle the conveniences customers expect. Support for mobile wallets, personalized product recommendations, chatbot customer service, and more have become the new status quo. 

Making customer experience the priority in your business plan means you will need an eCommerce platform that offers flexibility, scalability, and reliability. 

You need to decide if you want the profound customization freedom that open source allows or the “out-of-the-box” convenience provided by open SaaS. 

Magento-OpenSource

The Benefits of Magento Open Source

Not long ago, open source platforms were considered the ultimate choice for merchants requiring flexibility. Developers can alter open source code to create nearly limitless customizations if given enough time to do it. 

Magento Open Source has no licensing fee, and its core functionalities give you a well-built skeleton from which you can support any eCommerce operation. 

Magento Open Source includes eCommerce must-haves like: 

  • Integrated payment, checkout, and shipping
  • Mobile optimized shopping
  • Global selling
  • Catalog management
  • Instant Purchase
  • Site Search

Open source software is infinitely expandable since most open source applications are based on popular programming languages. On the contrary, SaaS platforms limit the ability to customize.

Many of the larger open source projects also have a large library of available enhancements.

Magento Developer

Considerations for your Decision

Magento Open Source gives you access to a galaxy of possibilities but includes none of the technical know-how to turn the possibility into reality. You’ll need a Magento-savvy developer to implement, configure, and maintain your store. 

The “galaxy of possibilities” we mentioned above also doesn’t come free. Extensions and third-party services are subscription-based, so those costs can add up. You’ll need a hosting solution as well. 

Magento Open Source is for merchants that have a clear vision of the specific customer experience they want to create. By taking advantage of open source’s infinite flexibility, merchants can provide value in the market through outstanding and unique experiences. 

If you are considering this platform, you must be ready to expend time and effort for development. If your company does not have a team dedicated to open source development, working with a partner like Kensium becomes necessary.

There is one more huge value that comes from choosing open source. A well-implemented open source platform ensures that your technology will be able to keep up with your business’ evolution over time. In other words, your eCommerce platform will scale with your business.

You will be able to meet evolving customer expectations along with the ability to pivot the business if you need to. And as your business expands, you won’t have to replatform or migrate the full tech stack to a different service.

Magento’s modular design reduces application complexity and enables you to easily extend or customize core functionality with off-the-shelf extensions or your code so you can bring innovative ideas to market fast.

Magento offers more flexibility and scales by web host, not by user, so scaling up won’t cost you in the long run.

BigCommerce and the Open SaaS Approach

BigCommerce

BigCommerce’s most recent work on their SaaS platform is a modular approach to eCommerce called Open SaaS.

Open SaaS platforms like BigCommerce give you the flexibility to deliver more complex, growth-driven customer experiences without replatform. You also don’t need to worry about manually installing patches, updates, etc. because BigCommerce does that for you. 

With other SaaS solutions, merchants run the risk of being locked into a specific vendor’s software suite or being limited to their out-of-the-box functionality. In an open system, you can connect individual pieces like building blocks, creating an architecture that works for your business.

Some retailers have an in-house development team to customize on top of the platform’s stable framework. Digital agencies like Kensium are a great alternative to those without internal developers. Still others, looking for the ultimate in customization, choose a headless commerce approach.

Opting for a headless commerce strategy allows you to use popular content management systems like WordPress and Drupal, digital experience platforms like Adobe Experience Manager, progressive web apps (PWAs), or even your own custom-built solution. You can also use headless commerce to power multiple storefronts or even commerce experiences through IoT devices.

opensource-saas

Considerations For Your Decision

SaaS is a right choice for businesses of all sizes who want to focus their resources on building their businesses rather than infrastructure, maintenance, and security. 

BigCommerce’s open SaaS platform means you will not own the software and pay a monthly fee to use it. The benefit to this is that you get advanced features included right out-of-the-box. 

Think of all the customer expectations normalized in the past decade. Personalization, real-time customer support, multiple payment options, and a frictionless buying journey – customers hunt for the online merchants to offer these conveniences. BigCommerce’s platform provides these for you immediately. 

However, just because you get all of this included doesn’t mean you won’t need to add new extensions and features to the platform. Web developers can sometimes find these platforms constraining and less adaptable because you can’t access all the code.

Open SaaS platforms allow for limited coding and UX customization, but it’s not the type of hands-on experience you’d get from an open source platform.

Trading in some customization freedom also means trading in some freedom to scale. While BigCommerce’s Open SaaS platform can grow with your business, you need to consider the fact that BigCommerce limits the revenue of online sales you make per year, leaving you responsible for additional fees if you exceed the sales limit. 

If you are running a business with about $1 to 5 million in revenue, BigCommerce might be a no-brainer. But what about when your business grows to $10 million? $100 million? 

We believe BigCommerce offers the best total cost of ownership out of Open SaaS platforms, with all the benefits of multi-tenant SaaS — ease of use, high-performance, and continuous updates — coupled with platform-wide APIs that enable businesses to customize their sites and integrate with external applications and services.

If you want to create a fantastic customer experience that stays competitive with other eCommerce companies in your industry, BigCommerce is an incredible option. We have no doubt Kensium can help you create an exceptional eCommerce store quickly and with a low total cost of ownership on the BigCommerce platform.

There are only two primary considerations we ask you to think about: 

  • How much extra will you have to pay if your business experiences rapid growth on BigCommerce? 
  • Are you willing to sacrifice some ownership of your eCommerce website to BigCommerce?

BigCommerce-magento

New Technology Prepares You For the Unexpected

No one truly knows what the future holds in terms of eCommerce trends and technology, but what is evident is that adaptability is vital. Brands and retailers must ensure they’re staying nimble and making the investments that support their online performance, marketing, and logistics. If this past year has taught us something, your business needs to stand ready for anything.

There are pros and cons to both open source and SaaS, but the most crucial objective is to decide what works for your business. We are agnostic here at Kensium; we don’t mind if you choose BigCommerce or Magento 2, we will make sure if it’s the right fit. 

With the possibilities of Open Source or SaaS, you have the freedom to make the eCommerce experience your own — whatever you decide to create. Kensium has experts in BigCommerce and Magento 2 ready and waiting to make your eCommerce dreams a reality. Contact Kensium here to learn more and get started on deciding what may be the best fit for your business. 

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Reading Time: 15 Min
TL;DR: There are pros and cons to both open source and SaaS, but the most crucial objective is to decide what works for your business. You need to decide if you want the profound customization freedom that open source allows or the “out-of-the-box” convenience provided by open SaaS. 
bc.magento

The Ecommerce Tipping Point

Ecommerce has been growing fast for the past few years, but 2020 shot it into the stratosphere. 

In 2019, U.S. online sales were up 14.9% from 2018. In 2020, the pandemic forced a multitude of brands, traditional retailers, and distributors to set up eCommerce shops and pivot their business to online retail. This pivot grew holiday spending a whopping 32.2% in 2020.

Within this surging eCommerce market, customer experience has become the most significant competitive differentiator. 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for an excellent customer experience. Competitive efforts to create the best possible experience has also pushed customer expectations considerably high. 

The issue then becomes if your eCommerce platform has the technology to handle the conveniences customers expect. Support for mobile wallets, personalized product recommendations, chatbot customer service, and more have become the new status quo. 

Making customer experience the priority in your business plan means you will need an eCommerce platform that offers flexibility, scalability, and reliability. 

You need to decide if you want the profound customization freedom that open source allows or the “out-of-the-box” convenience provided by open SaaS. 

Magento-OpenSource

The Benefits of Magento Open Source

Not long ago, open source platforms were considered the ultimate choice for merchants requiring flexibility. Developers can alter open source code to create nearly limitless customizations if given enough time to do it. 

Magento Open Source has no licensing fee, and its core functionalities give you a well-built skeleton from which you can support any eCommerce operation. 

Magento Open Source includes eCommerce must-haves like: 

  • Integrated payment, checkout, and shipping
  • Mobile optimized shopping
  • Global selling
  • Catalog management
  • Instant Purchase
  • Site Search

Open source software is infinitely expandable since most open source applications are based on popular programming languages. On the contrary, SaaS platforms limit the ability to customize.

Many of the larger open source projects also have a large library of available enhancements.

Magento Developer

Considerations for your Decision

Magento Open Source gives you access to a galaxy of possibilities but includes none of the technical know-how to turn the possibility into reality. You’ll need a Magento-savvy developer to implement, configure, and maintain your store. 

The “galaxy of possibilities” we mentioned above also doesn’t come free. Extensions and third-party services are subscription-based, so those costs can add up. You’ll need a hosting solution as well. 

Magento Open Source is for merchants that have a clear vision of the specific customer experience they want to create. By taking advantage of open source’s infinite flexibility, merchants can provide value in the market through outstanding and unique experiences. 

If you are considering this platform, you must be ready to expend time and effort for development. If your company does not have a team dedicated to open source development, working with a partner like Kensium becomes necessary.

There is one more huge value that comes from choosing open source. A well-implemented open source platform ensures that your technology will be able to keep up with your business’ evolution over time. In other words, your eCommerce platform will scale with your business.

You will be able to meet evolving customer expectations along with the ability to pivot the business if you need to. And as your business expands, you won’t have to replatform or migrate the full tech stack to a different service.

Magento’s modular design reduces application complexity and enables you to easily extend or customize core functionality with off-the-shelf extensions or your code so you can bring innovative ideas to market fast.

Magento offers more flexibility and scales by web host, not by user, so scaling up won’t cost you in the long run.

BigCommerce and the Open SaaS Approach

BigCommerce

BigCommerce’s most recent work on their SaaS platform is a modular approach to eCommerce called Open SaaS.

Open SaaS platforms like BigCommerce give you the flexibility to deliver more complex, growth-driven customer experiences without replatform. You also don’t need to worry about manually installing patches, updates, etc. because BigCommerce does that for you. 

With other SaaS solutions, merchants run the risk of being locked into a specific vendor’s software suite or being limited to their out-of-the-box functionality. In an open system, you can connect individual pieces like building blocks, creating an architecture that works for your business.

Some retailers have an in-house development team to customize on top of the platform’s stable framework. Digital agencies like Kensium are a great alternative to those without internal developers. Still others, looking for the ultimate in customization, choose a headless commerce approach.

Opting for a headless commerce strategy allows you to use popular content management systems like WordPress and Drupal, digital experience platforms like Adobe Experience Manager, progressive web apps (PWAs), or even your own custom-built solution. You can also use headless commerce to power multiple storefronts or even commerce experiences through IoT devices.

opensource-saas

Considerations For Your Decision

SaaS is a right choice for businesses of all sizes who want to focus their resources on building their businesses rather than infrastructure, maintenance, and security. 

BigCommerce’s open SaaS platform means you will not own the software and pay a monthly fee to use it. The benefit to this is that you get advanced features included right out-of-the-box. 

Think of all the customer expectations normalized in the past decade. Personalization, real-time customer support, multiple payment options, and a frictionless buying journey – customers hunt for the online merchants to offer these conveniences. BigCommerce’s platform provides these for you immediately. 

However, just because you get all of this included doesn’t mean you won’t need to add new extensions and features to the platform. Web developers can sometimes find these platforms constraining and less adaptable because you can’t access all the code.

Open SaaS platforms allow for limited coding and UX customization, but it’s not the type of hands-on experience you’d get from an open source platform.

Trading in some customization freedom also means trading in some freedom to scale. While BigCommerce’s Open SaaS platform can grow with your business, you need to consider the fact that BigCommerce limits the revenue of online sales you make per year, leaving you responsible for additional fees if you exceed the sales limit. 

If you are running a business with about $1 to 5 million in revenue, BigCommerce might be a no-brainer. But what about when your business grows to $10 million? $100 million? 

We believe BigCommerce offers the best total cost of ownership out of Open SaaS platforms, with all the benefits of multi-tenant SaaS — ease of use, high-performance, and continuous updates — coupled with platform-wide APIs that enable businesses to customize their sites and integrate with external applications and services.

If you want to create a fantastic customer experience that stays competitive with other eCommerce companies in your industry, BigCommerce is an incredible option. We have no doubt Kensium can help you create an exceptional eCommerce store quickly and with a low total cost of ownership on the BigCommerce platform.

There are only two primary considerations we ask you to think about: 

  • How much extra will you have to pay if your business experiences rapid growth on BigCommerce? 
  • Are you willing to sacrifice some ownership of your eCommerce website to BigCommerce?

BigCommerce-magento

New Technology Prepares You For the Unexpected

No one truly knows what the future holds in terms of eCommerce trends and technology, but what is evident is that adaptability is vital. Brands and retailers must ensure they’re staying nimble and making the investments that support their online performance, marketing, and logistics. If this past year has taught us something, your business needs to stand ready for anything.

There are pros and cons to both open source and SaaS, but the most crucial objective is to decide what works for your business. We are agnostic here at Kensium; we don’t mind if you choose BigCommerce or Magento 2, we will make sure if it’s the right fit. 

With the possibilities of Open Source or SaaS, you have the freedom to make the eCommerce experience your own — whatever you decide to create. Kensium has experts in BigCommerce and Magento 2 ready and waiting to make your eCommerce dreams a reality. Contact Kensium here to learn more and get started on deciding what may be the best fit for your business.